Trade Deadwhine

Toronto newspaper mocks Burke with “Trade Deadwhine” front page

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From Chris Johhnston of the Canadian Press:

source:

This, of course, is in reference to Toronto GM Brian Burke’s post-trade deadline presser in which he said the following:

— “I think it’s remarkable that players have kept their focus through this time.”

— “I think the trade deadline is hard on players (around the league) but I think it’s murder on players in Toronto.”

— “It’s to the point where I’m debating doing the same thing I do at Christmas, starting our own trade freeze 10 days before, that’s how distracting it is.”

— “There’s no question in my mind that there’s times when the pressure in this marketplace is a millstone, not an asset.”

After suggesting that no city puts pressure on its hockey team like Toronto (because, you know, Montreal has been so mellow this season), the media shot back:

Dave Feschuk, Toronto Star: “He said he and his staff had even talked of instituting a 10-day trade freeze in the lead-up to the deadline to relieve the Leafs of the stresses of TradeCentre. (And as he spoke you could almost see the lightbulb ignite above the heads of the all-sports TV executives who have turned trade talk, or lack thereof, into a mini-industry: Why not have two deadline days every February? Burkie’s day followed by everyone else’s — ratings gold!)”

Steve Buffery, Toronto Sun: “Playing in this market is definitely a disadvantage compared to playing in Nashville or Florida. Reimer and Gustavsson have looked like deer caught in the headlights the last couple of weeks. And that makes it tough on a GM. But what Burke didn’t say was that one of the huge advantages of playing in this market is that Toronto fans are unbelievably patient and understanding. The Three Amigos — Burke, [Raptors GM] Bryan Colangelo and [Blue Jays GM] Alex Anthopoulos — should thank their lucky stars every day for that. Especially Burke.”

Jeff Blair, Globe and Mail: “Burke couched his notions with the caveat that he wanted to make sure his hands weren’t tied by imposing his own deadline – in effect, taking his ball and going home, to hell with the rest of you. For that, Leafs Nation ought to take comfort, because Burke’s homemade rules too often mitigate the financial clout this organization ought to wield. Really, isn’t the point to try and screw over the other guy, not be your brother’s keeper?”

It’ll be very interesting to see how the Leafs come out tonight in a crucial home game against Florida. The Panthers have dominated the season series (winning 5-3 and 5-1) and are five points clear of Toronto in the standings.

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

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Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.

They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.

Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.

Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.

You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:

Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.

Read about that blowout here.

Blues bombard Stars, go up 2-1 in series

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Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.

Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”

It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.

The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.

This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.

Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.

On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.

We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.

Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.